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Conviva - A Symposium Exploring Disabled-led Arts

As ARC and Little Cog’s Cultural Shift programme nears its end after a valuable and successful three year initiative, ARC is proud to host a Conviva (meaning sharing of a feast), which will aim to give food for thought and a means of creating practical actions that venues and artists can implement in order to increase and improve opportunities for disabled people in the arts.

Disabled artists and practitioners will talk about the context of disabled-led practice, and offer bite-size provocations to invite discussion and seek solutions. Disabled practitioners and companies and venues wanting to include disabled people in their work, will find valuable information to help them.

ARC and Little Cog will share their Cultural Shift working model and explore how to better support disabled artists. With information, encouragement and provocations from a range of key disabled practitioners and professionals, we will look at how to get started, and how support can be given to artists to help them move on to the next stage of their careers.

Vici Wreford-Sinnott, Creative Lead of Cultural Shift said:

“We’re incredibly proud to be hosting this unique event. Experts and artists are coming to our region from all over the country and as the north east has one of the highest percentages of disabled people of all the government regions, it's incredibly important that there are events and activities to improve the lives of up to 25% of the population and to ensure that hidden voices are heard.”

Disabled artists will have the chance to discuss the evolution of content, aesthetics and access, and also examine the impact of mainstreaming on disability identity in all its diversity.

Speakers and contributors to the day include:

• Deborah Williams (CEO, The Cultural Diversity Network – Broadcasting)
• Simon Startin (award-winning playwright and theatre director)
• Dolly Sen (award-winning writer, artist, performer and filmmaker)
• Michèle Taylor (Director of Change – Ramps on the Moon)
• Jo Verrent (Senior Producer, Unlimited)
• Aidan Moesby (national and international artist, curator and writer)
• Tammy Reynolds (writer, performer and producer at DaDaFest)
• Paul Wilshaw (actor at Mind the Gap and independent theatre maker)


Cultural Shift began in 2015 and is ARC's strategic programme of activity, delivered in partnership with Little Cog, actively programming and delivering new and increased opportunities for disabled people in the arts. ARC and Little Cog are working to ensure our cultural landscape is vibrant and representative of the people living and working in our communities.

The aims of Cultural Shift are:

• To challenge negative commonly held perceptions about disability and disabled people
• To involve disabled people in the arts at every level

ARC, through its artistic policy is committed to supporting work which is contemporary in its approach and relevant to peoples’ lives today.

The work of disabled artists and participants in the programme may or may not have a disability focus, although we are ensuring that the work is disabled-led.